Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Citizens Property Insurance Alleges Use of 360Value Software to Justify Rate Increases
Feb 7, 2012
In a press conference held today, February 7, 2012 in Tallahassee, it was announced that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”) accusing the state-run insurer of dodging Florida law to create massive “back door” rate increases.
Citizens, which insures more homes in Florida than any single private company, is considered to be Florida’s “insurer of last resort.” It was explained that, in many cases, Citizens policyholders would have a difficult time securing insurance through any other company. A press conference was held at the steps of the Old Capitol to announce the lawsuit.
Filed in Pasco County by the Florida Association of Insurance Reform and the Beausoleil Law Group of Florida, the lawsuit charges that Citizens has used computer software known as “360Value” to raise rates on homeowners and sidestep the legislative process at the expense of almost 1.5 million Citizens policyholders statewide.
Florida Senator Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) joined the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and said, “If it’s proven that these homes are being inflated just so Citizens can raise rates, that is unconscionable by any insurer, whether it be a government entity like Citizens or a private company.” Senator Fasano also stated that he believes private insurance companies around the state are engaging in similar practices to inflate rates.
The lawsuit states that Citizens is in direct violation of state law and demands that it cease the use of 360Value. It also seeks to force Citizens to accept appraisals from other sources.
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